"It was the one area where I could say, 'No, I'm not eating that.'"
British Asian singer Zayn Malik revealed more about his anxiety and eating disorder battle, claiming they gave him control during his One Direction days.
In an interview with The Sunday Times Style magazine, he opened up to share his mental health struggles.
Speaking about the eating disorder, in particular, he claimed it gave him a sense of control over his own life. While he belonged to the hit band One Direction, he felt every aspect of his life had become controlled by others.
He said: “Every area of my life was so regimented and controlled, it was the one area where I could say, ‘No, I’m not eating that.'” Zayn also revealed that during his eating disorder, he avoid food for a few days at a time.
However, he has now successfully recovered from his eating struggles:
“Once I got over the control, the eating just came back into place.
“I came back to the UK and spent some time with my mum and got some TLC, and she cooked me food and I got back in touch, mentally, with a lot of the things I’d lost.”
This doesn’t mark the first time Zayn has opened up about his eating disorder battle. His 2016 autobiography, ZAYN: The Official Autobiography, first gave mention to his struggles. He also battled anxiety problems in the past.
His anxiety became so crippling that he ended up pulling out from some performances. These included top-listed events such as the Capital Summertime Ball and Autism Rocks Arena. Both took place in 2016, in June and October respectively.
Zayn also spoke about the support he gained from sharing his eating disorder battle. He said:
“People saw strength in that, and they didn’t seem to expect it from a guy, but they expect it from a female, which to me is crazy. We’re all human. People are often afraid to admit difficulties, but I don’t believe that there should be a struggle with anything that’s the truth.”
He also believes that society has come a long way in acknowledging mental health struggles in men:
“If you were a guy, you used to have to be really masculine, but now expressing emotion is accepted and respected.”
Since overcoming these battles, Zayn is returning back to top form. Recently he modelled for the Versus Versace Spring/Summer 2017 campaign.
His second album will also release later in 2017.